College admissions should be based strictly on merit. Other systems (Ireland, France, Switzerland, China, and so on) work this way. Admissions are completely transparent:

1. Take test.

2. If you want to study [subject] you must score above [number]. See newspaper on [date] for complete list of subjects and required scores. Letter to follow.

There is no consideration of extracurricular activities, sex, race/ethnicity, parental alumni or donations etc. Prince William had to get the same minimum score as everyone else on his A levels to study whatever it was at St. Andrews (though some UK universities seem to be moving toward interviews). A guy I knew whose daddy had a big job at my college had to get the scores, too (the faculty even checked his results to make sure no one was cheating).

I understand that people have been discriminated against in this country, and that this fact is used to justify biased admissions. But this approach just creates new ways to discriminate, which of course is being laid bare this week.

If people really, really want to fix the problem, we need to start with a living minimum wage (reduces stress at home), better social safety net programs (so people don't have to choose between rent, medicine, and food), and of course, better K-12 schools.

The idea to refuse admission to qualifying students in NYC high schools is a perfect example of destroying a completely transparent admission process in order to introduce discrimination. It's wrong.

On a rambling tangent, I'll admit that I wonder why a relatively unprepared student would even want to go to those schools. The work load is insane. Better to send them to a Middle College, which is a dual enrollment program that exposes students to college classes free of charge while at home. My eldest got a free AS through MC, followed by a nice scholarship offer that made a private college cheaper than a state U. My next son is at MC, learning the chemistry that he didn't learn at his previous high school. There, chemistry was taught by a person with a degree in early childhood development. But she was a "highly qualified and certified teacher," unlike his chem professor, who just has a silly PhD in chemistry and 2 other science degrees.